There are now 1,285 breweries operating in Britain and more breweries per head of population than any other country in the world. This is the largest number of British breweries since the 1930s and 40s and the industry is growing at over 10% a year, with nearly all new breweries producing cask-conditioned real ales as their core products. 170 new breweries have started up in the UK in the last 12 months according to CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2015.
- Over 10% growth in UK breweries for the last two years running
- Britain now has more breweries per head than any other country in the world*
- 170 new UK breweries feature in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2015
- Small independent breweries becoming increasingly popular with drinkers
- Now 1285 breweries in the UK
Good Beer Guide Editor Roger Protz said: “Real ale is the only success story in a declining beer market. New breweries, making handcrafted beers, continue to come on stream while many long-standing regional and family breweries are expanding with new equipment and new brands. Real ale has almost doubled its market share over the past decade.”
The continued growth across the whole of the UK has been driven by small independent breweries which have been popping up all over the country, many of whom are experimenting with the beers they brew, leading to even greater choice for drinkers,
“With every region in the country seeing an increase in breweries it means even more choice for real ale drinkers, particularly as breweries are becoming more adventurous in the beers they brew, adding herbs, spices, fruit and chocolate to beer – while a growing number are ageing beer in oak casks bought from whisky, wine and rum producers to give new depths of flavour to their products.”
Protz also believes because smaller breweries have a better ability to experiment, they can adapt to the ever-changing trends in the world of brewing more quickly,
“Independent breweries with small and more flexible plants are able to follow trends with ease, allowing them to meet the demands of restless modern drinkers. With some regions having up to 147 different breweries to choose from there is no end to the variety of beer on offer.”
Mike Benner, Managing Director of the Society of Independent Brewers, said: “This latest Good Beer Guide portrays a British brewing industry in excellent health. New brewery openings over the last year take the total number of brewers in the UK to over 1,200, a figure that would have been almost unimaginable to readers of this guide in the 1970s.
“As we welcome this growing wave of new brewers, we also thank the 20 pioneering microbrewers who in 1980 founded the Society of Independent Brewers and so set in motion the brewing revolution which today provides British drinkers with the most diverse, exciting and innovative selection of beers enjoyed anywhere in the world.”
London last year saw a double in brewery numbers and has continued to support the growth with 7 new start-ups this year. London Beer Factory, a brand new entry in to this year’s guide, produce real ales such as London Session and Chelsea Blonde and had this to say on the continued brewery growth in London
“The London Beer Factory is extremely proud to be part of the renaissance of brewing in the capital and delivering a range of tasty craft beer to the people of London. We are delighted at our inclusion in the Good Beer Guide 2015.” Ed Cotton, Brewer, London Beer Factory.